For years, those who deal with conflict have questioned the efficiency of the adversarial system.  Disputants want their conflicts resolved quickly and fairly. Instead they get protracted, intrusive, and expensive litigation which they do not understand and cannot control.  To meet these demands, dispute resolution professionals are rediscovering and developing dispute resolution strategies that provide disputants with better ways to resolve their disputes.

“The entire legal profession–lawyers, judges, law professors–has become so mesmerized with the stimulation of the courtroom that we tend to forget that we ought to be healers of conflicts. For many claims, trials by adversarial contests must in time go the way of the ancient trial by battle and blood. Our system is too costly, too painful, too destructive, and too inefficient for a truly civilized people.”  Chief Justice,  Warren E. Burger, 1984 State of the Judiciary Address.


One alternative dispute resolution process is known as mediation.

Mediation is an informal process in which people in conflict attempt to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of their dispute with the assistance of a neutral, impartial third party–the mediator.  Mediation is a voluntary process; the parties are neither compelled to stay at the negotiation table nor are they forced to agree to a settlement.  Rather, the mediator assists the parties in their communications and negotiations.  Mediation permits the parties to control the outcome of their dispute by negotiating with the mediator’s assistance.  If an agreement is reached resolving all or part of the issues in dispute, the agreement is put in writing and signed by the parties.  An agreement reached during the course of a mediation is usually binding. Non-litigative dispute resolution is not, however, always preferable to litigation.

Let’s talk so that we may find the best path for you.


Reference Article: New York Times, August 8, 2008, Study Finds Settling is Better Than Going to Trial, by Jonathan D. Glater.